If you are one of those people who likes quirky cars or admire the Volkswagen brand, then this 1:18 scale Solido Volkswagen Beetle Baja will definitely spark up your fire. A Volkswagen Baja Beetle was a modified VW to drive on sandy dunes and beaches, as it competed in Baja races in North America and Mexico. Enthusiasts even brought it to public roads to show their original take on the standard Volkswagen Beetle. This Bug looks wild from all the angles, so I thought I would add some rocks to give photos a little more character.
This model is packaged in a standard Solido 1:18th scale presentation box. Mirrors come attached to the model, however the rather long antennas are included in a separate clear plastic bag taped inside the box. You will have to attach them to the model yourself, and doing so will require finding two very small holes on each side of the plastic engine guard. I strongly suggest you glue them in, as any model movement will cause them to fall off (if you like them attached to the model that is). Before doing so, I also suggest taking a close look at both ends of the antennas, in order to glue the correct side in.
Looking at the model inside the box, you cannot miss a rather long exhaust pointing to the sky – well almost. Jokes put aside, your eyes are completely drawn to it first. Once out of the box, I can appreciate the fact that Solido chose an interesting specification with a reasonable overall fit and finish. I do like this particular spec, as well as the ability to see the mostly exposed engine. The main body shell is crafted in die-cast metal, with the engine and all the protective guards reproduced in plastic.
The metallic blue paint with all the decal graphics, gives this model a playful look. I think the whole package looks rather interesting – this is surely a first for me! Overall paint application is solid with no visible paint over spays. The decal application is decent – I do not see peeling anywhere. So far so good Solido!
Door shut lines are on point as the real car did not have razor-thin panel gaps either. I do like the inclusion of windows on both doors, and black-painted outlines are a very nice bonus. They are visible around all windows including the little triangle windows at the front of both doors – much appreciated.
BF Goodrich Mud-Terrain T/A tires are branded with white paint in the form of a script, and the tire tread has a good amount of pattern to reassure you this is a capable Dune Buggy. It is nice to see Solido did not just slap on any tire and went to the depth of making an off-road tire. The style of black rims chosen does not show much of what is behind them – there is just a lot of black. I personally would have preferred a little colour – even in the form of silver bolts.
Inside, the model is predominantly black with only some blue representing harness seatbelts in the form of a decal. I would have preferred some colour to add to the ambience in order to break up all the darkness. Overall interior finish is absolutely representative of a budget scale model.
At the front, you will notice the “Hella” off-road lamps mounted on the protective bar which is made of plastic. The “BAJA BUG” license plate is a very good choice and goes well with the overall theme of this Beetle. I do like the chrome around headlights and do appreciate the orange turning signals. Since I am on the topic of turning signals, I would have preferred them to be plastic pieces and not just painted, and the housing shows some chrome and not just silver paint. Keeping in mind this is a budget model, I am willing to accept some cost-cutting measures.
At the back, the model looks just wild. With mostly open engine bay, those tall antennas and the massive muffler, there is nothing that shies away here! The rear lights are separate plastic pieces, and their housing shows off some chrome. The engine is basic, however I do appreciate that it is not just plain black. You will find some orange, silver and black and I think that works quite well. A large engine protective guard is there to finish off the rear end.
To sum things up, l think this is a very capable and well spec’d out Volkswagen Beetle Baja edition. It would be difficult to find a model like this made by other budget brands, and I think Solido excels with its variety of budget die-cast models. If you like Volkswagens or if you love quirky, I say go and get one, as it certainly has some great shelf presence!